The disappearance of a grandmother was a mystery until a tip-off from a construction worker – but now police have focused their investigation on him.
The disappearance of a grandmother was a mystery until a tip-off from a construction worker – but now police have focused their investigation on him.

Murder twist: He was paid a reward, but was he the killer?

A builder who found the remains of an Adelaide grandmother has been accused of murder by Malaysian Police and pressured into handing over his reward money, her grieving family says.

Annapuranee "Anna" Jenkins, 65, was visiting her sick elderly mother when she vanished in mysterious circumstances in suburban George Town, Penang Island, on December 13, 2017.

Mrs Jenkins' bones and possessions were discovered by the construction worker in March this year at a $107m Kensington Gardens villa development, less than a kilometre from her last known location.

Her son flew to Malaysia, where he submitted samples that DNA tests matched to the human remains in August and the family paid the worker a reward for his information.

But Mrs Jenkins' son, whose job prevents him being identified, says the man who provided the crucial breakthrough has now become the focus of the Royal Malaysian Police investigation.

Annapuranee Jenkins’ bones and possessions were found on a Malaysian construction site more than 2½ years after she disappeared.
Annapuranee Jenkins’ bones and possessions were found on a Malaysian construction site more than 2½ years after she disappeared.

"He has been accused of murdering mum and he continually gets dragged in for questioning. His work was threatening to cut him away," the son told the Sunday Mail.

"They threatened to cut his pay and took away his car. We thought we would help him out by giving him that reward money, which is enough for him to buy a second-hand car.

"The police found out and they have been pressuring him to hand over the reward money."

Mrs Jenkins' son said forensic officers believed there was a strong indication of foul play in his mum's death but investigators had not acted on the evidence.

"The forensic team was saying she had obviously died somewhere else and we believe it is somewhere in the vicinity of that construction site," he said.

"I asked one of the main forensic guys and he confirmed (the construction site) was just an area where things were dumped, so to speak.

"Police don't want to upset the developer and no further searching has happened."

A Hotel Jen keycard found among the items on a Penang construction site was matched to the room where Annapuranee Jenkins was staying.
A Hotel Jen keycard found among the items on a Penang construction site was matched to the room where Annapuranee Jenkins was staying.

The son said investigators could not explain why there would be a three-month delay for results from a second set of DNA tests on a further six bones.

"One of the forensic guys said he believed there was a piece of skull among the six bones that were found," he said.

"The fact there are skull fragments pushes that theory more towards foul play so I thought there would be a quick turnaround."

Mrs Jenkins' son said he had lost faith in police and was now starting to question the original DNA results because the remains of a male were also found nearby at the same location.

"Have police done that report to say 'We've confirmed (the DNA match) so let's stop the investigation'?" he said.

"If they were able to show me an official letter then absolutely but they won't show us the DNA results from the bones.

"I'm 90 per cent sure everything we have found has been mum's but in terms of getting the confirmation I don't trust the police or anything they have done for three years."

Rosary beads and a crucifix belonging to Annapuranee Jenkins and recovered by her son from the Penang construction site.
Rosary beads and a crucifix belonging to Annapuranee Jenkins and recovered by her son from the Penang construction site.

 

Originally published as Murder twist: He was paid a reward, but was he the killer?

Mrs Jenkins was known as Anna, and many unanswered questions remain about her death.
Mrs Jenkins was known as Anna, and many unanswered questions remain about her death.
Australian and Malaysian money was found among the items on a Penang construction site.
Australian and Malaysian money was found among the items on a Penang construction site.